Holidaymakers on the slopes at Levi Ski Resort in Kittilä, Lapland, on Good Friday, 2 April 2021. (Irene Stachon – Lehtikuva)

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SKI RESORTS in Northern Finland welcomed a substantial number of visitors over Easter. Cottages in Levi and Ylläs in Lapland, for example, were fully booked well before the start of the long holiday weekend.

“If we compare to the year preceding the coronavirus epidemic, Visit Levi’s books had more bookings,” Yrjötapio Kivisaari, the CEO of Visit Levi, commented to STT on Sunday.

“The fell is full of people,” echoed Janne-Juhani Haarma, the CEO of Visit Ylläs. “The only exception is that hotels don’t have as many people as they used to. It’s clear that people are preferring cottage accommodation in these times.”

Restaurants in Levi and Kittilä, however, did not benefit fully from the rush of holidaymakers, as they have been prohibited from serving all non-takeaway customers to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Restaurants elsewhere in Lapland are currently allowed to also serve eat-in customers.

Activity organisers have similarly received relatively few bookings in light of the number of holidaymakers.

Both Haarma and Kivisaari assured that the ski resorts have paid close attention to health safety in what is typically the last peak period of the winter season. Customers have been kept informed of the rules starting with booking confirmations, while indoor facilities have taken action to promote social distancing and face mask use.

“We’ve messaged companies and customers that we should buckle down and act responsible over the Easter peak. We’ll then have time to prepare for what will hopefully be a more normal summer,” said Haarma.

“As we’ve had a year to practise this, hand sanitisers and social distancing have been ingrained in the local DNA,” phrased Kivisaari. “It’s seems to have been clear mostly also to those coming from other parts that in shops you should be wearing a mask and keep a distance to others.”

Also Lapland Police Department confirmed that the holiday period went calmly. No major incidents took place at the ski resorts and no reports of violations associated with coronavirus restrictions were received.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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